Riding in Arizona


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I have lived in Phoenix for 8 years and have been riding out here for about 5 of them but I am still looking for good riding spots. So far the places that I have found on Rider Planet or elsewhere on the internet are relatively close, but seeing as I live in the desert, there has to be more. I wanted to open up a thread on some good local spots near Phoenix, but also throughout Arizona. I grew up in San Diego so Ocotillo Wells and Plaster City were my second homes where I grew up riding and camping and I haven't been able to find anything comparable out here where it is wide open and not strictly trails. Below are some places I have hit and my thoughts on them.

1. Sycamore Creek - I have ridden here the most due to the proximity (30-40 minutes from my house) but I no longer want to go there due to the shooters and the trash left everywhere. (Off of this topic but there was talk a while ago on social media about doing a clean up here but I never heard anything else about it. I would be willing to help out if anybody has updates on it)
2. Boulders off Carefree Hwy - This is a fun place with a lot of single track available, but it is really only trails. Plus I found it is flooded with a lot of UTVs on the trails. Still a fun place to ride!
3. Agua Caliente - I am not sure if this is an actual riding spot but it seems to be more wide open than most places around here. I have only gone out there solo so I haven't really ventured out to much on my own.
4. Vulture Mine - I have only raced the AZOP race but haven't done any free riding out there. Is this open, private, or Rez land?
5. Cinders - Awesome riding and one of my favorite places. Only downside is it is 3 hours away from me.
6. Camp Verde - Same as Vulture Mine, only raced there haven't done any free ride. And it is closed half of the year (cant remember if it was summer or winter?)

Thank you in advance!


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Most of my advice would be trails and your post doesn't appear to be looking in that direction. May I suggest hooking up with ATR in the winter and CTR in the summer. If you work a trail day or two you can network in person and find some folks with the same interests. Below is the link to the Coconino Trail Riders Dual sport in about one month, not wide open desert but some pretty amazing scenery starting at a cool 7000'. You would be riding, eating, and the sat night is a pretty good fiesta with 100+ riders, county camp ground (home of the overland expo west) across the parking lot or free FS camping within a few miles, hotels in Flag on the weekends are tough to get.

Mother Road is the beer sponsor, Daily Driver, Kolsch, and the near world famous Tower Station are the flavors for this year. If you like it we have our race on Labor day but again, trail based....

Coconino Trail Riders


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I've been to most the places you mention and a few others like Gold Canyon, Florence, and Bulldog OHV. If anybody mentions riding I always ask where they go so unless they're sworn to secrecy I would have found the good spots by now. I've resigned myself to making a long drive if I want good wide open desert riding.
I haven't seen Gila Bend mentioned. There's a 50 mile ex-race loop south of I8, Clinton closed it to racing, but perhaps you can still ride out there.

And what about Vekol Valley?

There's also Midway, north of Bouse.

And the Vulture courses.

All BLM lands.


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Vulture Mine area is BLM land, lots of good trails out there, that was my favorite race. The closest spot to ride "in town" is the agua fria river bed, you can ride from roughly happy valley parkway to just below Canyon raceway, I rode there a lot and never saw anyone out there. Im sure its a ticking clock until it gets shutdown.
There is also Rainbow valley, there is an old ADRA race course out there from the 80's and tons of trails. I rarely saw people out there, look in the area of narramore rd and 231th avenue, that wash crossing there will get you into the good spots south.
Prescott Alto pit area is fun, plenty of washes and trails around wickenburg but its full of UTV's now. There some spots out near casa grande / arizona city too.
Good luck.